Standing your ground?

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Hi all,

Last night the following situation occurred. A player on my team was on offense was handling against a zone defense. He felt that he was getting bumped by one of the members of the cup, so the next time he swung the disc, he "stood his ground."

One of the players from the cup ended up bumping into the handler. The handler pushed back (with his body, not arms) and didn't allow the player from the cup to push through. So, there was some body contact and the player from the cup called "foul". "Contest" was called and the the play resumed without any further incident.

If everyone was following the rules, I believe the correct call would have been for the handler to call foul when the player from the cup bumped into him.

(I made sure my player knew that pushing back until the player from the cup calls foul is *not* the right way to resolve the situation.)

But, I wanted some clarification on what would happen? Handler calls Foul, Player from the cup says Contest or No Contest. The disc is already at another handler, so the foul doesn't affect play at all. So, the play comes back in at what count? It seems pointless to even call this foul since it didn't affect the play...

What is the correct course of action?

Just to clarify, the impression I get from your post is that the thrower, after releasing, didn't
move because he knew that he would be where the defender wanted to run. This is definitely
allowed. The defensive player running into a stationary person is certainly not. As you have
noted, however, there really is no consequence to either team aside from the defender being
slowed down, if a foul is called. (By the way, unless it is dangerous, getting bumped into may
well be incidental contact, as it did not affect the play so the thrower would have no reason to
call a foul.)

The way you say "stood his ground" and "pushed back with his body," though, makes me
wonder what really happened. Did he drop a shoulder and push, or by "pushing with his body"
do you mean that he actively tried to remain standing as someone tried to push by him? If
the throwers actions were more active than reactive then it may well have affected continued
play (in that the defender was delayed from following the disc) and be grounds for a foul call
by the defense. There would still be no real consequence in terms of the count or position, but
the thrower should be made aware that his actions are not acceptable.

"the thrower, after releasing, didn't move because he knew that he would be where the defender wanted to run. .... do you mean that he actively tried to remain standing as someone tried to push by him?"

That's exactly what happened. He didn't move and 'actively' remained in his spot. I think he got a little fed up with getting bumped in the previous dump/swings and 'actively' remained in his position the next time.

"(By the way, unless it is dangerous, getting bumped into may well be incidental contact, as it did not affect the play so the thrower would have no reason to call a foul.)"

Ah! That's a good point!

So, my next question is then, what is the correct course of action? I don't agree that the response to being pushed, is to push back. I let the player on my team know that it's not acceptable, and at the time, I told him he should call a foul instead. Gin-Boh made the good point that by definition, it's incidental contact and not a foul. What should I tell this player to do in the future if he feels he's getting pushed inappropriately?

"Gin-Boh made the good point that by definition, it's incidental contact and not a foul."

It's not necessarily always incidental. Often it will be incidental, but if you get bumped and
that hinders you from doing whatever it is that you intended to do, then it affects continued
play. Example, if you are bumped into which slows your ability to get upfield for a handler cut
or perhaps affects your ability to go behind and support the dump, then continued play is
affected.

Granted, if you aren't being affected in any material way, then yes it would be incidental.
And yes, even if it were a foul, there's essentially no recourse for the O to call a foul on the
D when the pass is completed. It can actually stop the flow of your offense, and allow the D
to mentally re-set their D (while not physically moving from where they were when the call
was made). There's discussion about how this is exploited in the contemporary thread
"intentional fouls..."

That said, even if it's incidental, if it's obvious the player is not avoiding contact (I'd say
repeated examples of being bumped when stationary is a good indication of this), then they
are breaking the rules:

XVI.H) Fouls (II.E): It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way
possible.

Though it references what a foul is, this rule applies independently to that definition.
Technically this is a violation and not a foul if the foul criteria are not met. Though if
somebody repeatedly runs into you, and then has the audacity to say 'you have to call
violation, not foul to call that I am not avoiding contact', I'd be quite surprised.

Zaven,

Before we go any further, please don't misrepresent my words. I did not say that "by definition" it was incidental contact. I said it "may well be incidental." Not having been there, and from your description, I'm still not convinced that I understand what was going on. You said that your player had been bumped, which could mean very light contact that might be a bit annoying, or it could mean a bit more of a hit. Also, considering that on the nth ocurrence your player decided to stay put and "push back," perhaps on previous occasions he started running as/before the bump, in which case his actions may have contributed to the contact. Further, you described the initial contacts as bumps, but then said that your player didn't allow the defender to "push through." All of this leaves a very fuzzy picture in my mind as to what actually hapenned, so I'd rather not have my opinion taken as relating specifically to your game.

Now, when I said "actively" I meant it as in trying to not fall after someone pushes, and not as in proactively making sure that nobody pushes them aside. Just making sure that my words aren't being twisted, as your quotes around "actively" might suggest that you're using the word euphemistically.

I agree with Temple in that the D player should be avoiding contact, which he may not be doing (again, depending on whether the O player was moving as well). The appropriate response for a player in the thrower's position is definitely not to take an "eye for an eye" approach and start a physical confrontation (ie: push back). A violation call is more appropriate, and probably even better (considering that many players still think that any call against them carries some malice or accusation) would be to start by simply asking them not to bump you.

Sorry, I didn't mean to misrepresent your words at all. I simply meant to say that you made a good point. :)

From my perspective, it seemed that the D player attempted to run to the new thrower and took a path so close to the original thrower that contact was inevitable. When contact occurred, instead of taking a step away from the contact, the O player actively remained in his spot which now caused the D player to be off balance. I hope that makes it more clear. I don't think either player intended to push another player but I also don't agree with either player's conduct.

"A violation call is more appropriate, and probably even better (considering that many players still think that any call against them carries some malice or accusation) would be to start by simply asking them not to bump you."

This sounds like the right thing to do for the O player in the future. Thanks for your responses.

Assuming non-incidental contact caused by the defense...

1. If it affects the throw and is turned over, it's coming back. Whether contested or not only changes the count, either at same/max S-6 or S-1, respectively.

2. If it affects the receiver's actions, it's staying with the receiver (not contested) or coming back at same/max S-6 (contested).

3. If it affects neither the throw nor the reception, then it's just a 'stop play and reset', regardless of whether a pass was completed or turned over. As with the first, the contest only changes the count, if there was one.

Be careful saying that 3 is a condition that doesn't affect play (as worded in the OP). It might not affect THE play, but it MAY affect CONTINUED play, which IS the definition of non-incidental contact and a foul.